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Football Legend Brett Favre Says Kids Shouldn't Play Tackle Football Until They're 14

Former NFL quarterback Brett Favre looks on as he is inducted into the Ring of Honor during a halftime ceremony during the game between the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 16, 2016.
Former NFL quarterback Brett Favre looks on as he is inducted into the Ring of Honor during a halftime ceremony during the game between the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 16, 2016.

Brett Favre, Hall of Famer, Super Bowl winner and numerous football record holder, has a message for parents: Don't let your kids play tackle football until they're 14.

In a new public service campaign released Tuesday, Favre lays out the reasons why: It'll reduce the risk of being diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.

"Having kids play before high school is just not worth the risk," Favre said in a statement. ​​​​​"CTE is a terrible disease, and we need to do everything we can to prevent it for the next generation of football players."

The possible link between concussions and the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy has been well publicized.

CTE can only be diagnosed post-mortem. And the evidence of it was found in the brains of a number of players.

In the public service announcement for the Concussion Legacy Foundation, Favre lays out the symptoms.

"I could be fighting depression, struggling to keep my thoughts straight. I could become violent, even towards my own children," he says.

"When I'm your age, what will matter to me is not my youth football career but that, like you, I'm a great parent and that I can provide for my family."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.